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Ten Essential Christmas Specials You Should Be Watching This Holiday Season



The holidays are upon us once again and That’s My Entertainment is giving you the top ten essential Christmas specials you should be watching this holiday season.

10. “Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo”
This classic South Park episode, while a little unorthodox, is a delightful tale of loving thy neighbor, regardless of their faith. Young Kyle Broflovski is ridiculed by his peers for being the only Jewish kid in school during Christmas time. He finds solace in his belief of Mr. Hankey, a talking, Christmas-themed piece of feces that brings gifts to children of all faiths. While the crude humor of South Park may be off-putting to some, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that the true meaning of the holidays is to love and cherish each other.

9. “A Flintstone Christmas”

An oldie, but a goodie! While this Christmas special may seem a bit cliched by today’s standards, this special set the standard for so many that followed. The story follows Fred and Barney taking over for old Saint Nick after a sprained ankle has him laid up for Christmas Eve. Packed with classic Flintstones humor, music, and holiday cheer, this special is a must for the holiday season.

8. “The Fairly Oddparents: Christmas Every Day”
This special ventures into the realm of magic as young Timmy Turner wishes for his favorite day of the year to repeat itself everyday. His eccentric Fairy Godparents Cosmo and Wanda make it so, but after week’s worth of Christmases, the world begins to fall into upheaval. Not to mention all the forgotten holidays (The Easter Bunny, The April Fool, etc.) that want revenge for taking away their time with the children of the world. It’s up to Timmy to beat the other holiday spirits to Santa and help reverse his wish. This special is a classic for kids that grew up in the early 2000s and may be one of the best episodes of The Fairly Oddparents ever written. Filled with clever humor, heart, and an incredibly catchy musical number by Guy Moon, this special is a must-see.

7. “Spongebob Squarepants: Christmas Who?”
Good ol’ Spongebob has been around long enough to have garnered two Christmas specials, but the original to this day still withstands the test of time. In “Christmas Who?” our square friend is introduced to the Christmas holiday by Sandy the squirrel, who is baffled to find that the undersea residents of Bikini Bottom have ever heard of Christmas. Spongebob shares Sandy’s tale of Santa with all of his friends, who then quickly begin writing their Christmas wishes. Squidward, however, remains skeptical as always. Packed with a ton of heart, Christmas cheer, and a knockout original song, this special has become a classic.

6. “Hey Arnold!: Arnold’s Christmas”
This classic 90’s series has delivered some of the best episodes ever written for television and this special is no exception. The episode begins with everyone’s favorite football head choosing his neighbor, Mr. Hyunh in the annual boarding house Secret Santa. While attempting to find out what Mr. Hyunh might like, Arnold discovers that Mr. Hyunh has a long lost daughter that he was separated from during the Vietnam War. Arnold and his best friend Gerald set out to track down Mr. Hyunh’s lost daughter, but several obstacles keep presenting themselves. This episode is notable for straying from the typical children’s Christmas specials and doesn’t include Santa. It stays grounded in reality and focuses on a boy’s journey to bring a broken family together again. It’s safe to say that “Arnold’s Christmas” is necessary viewing.

5. “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
This classic tale has been adapted for the screen a whopping three times (the most recent is now in theatres). It’s hard to imagine a Christmas without watching the original animated classic on television. Featuring a script nearly identical to the original text, along with spectacular direction by Chuck Jones and the legendary Boris Karloff as the voice of the Grinch, this special will always succeed in making our hearts “grow three sizes” at Christmas time.

4. “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

It goes without saying that this timeless classic deserves an annual viewing. It’s really hard to find anyone that hasn’t seen this timeless tale, which was actually the Peanuts’ first venture into animation. The special follows Charlie Brown as he struggles to find the true meaning of Christmas underneath the big, flashy commercialism. It isn’t until a disgruntled Charlie walks out on directing the annual Christmas play that the children surround him and lift his spirit with song. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is not to be missed.

3. “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town”
This classic Rankin/Bass special (along with many others) is featured on repeat in many households this time of year. Narrated by the legendary Fred Astaire, this classic stop-motion film provides an interesting backstory for Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney). As a baby, he was left on the doorstep of the toy-making Kringle family. Upon adopting and raising him to love toys and children, young Kris sets out to deliver the gifts to the children of the nearby Sombertown. Little does he know that toys have been outlawed by the heartless Burgermeister Meisterburger. Packed with delightful songs, humor, and a brief political undertone that doesn’t condescend to the audience, “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” is a timeless holiday classic.

2. “Frosty the Snowman”

Another Rankin/Bass classic, “Frosty the Snowman” does not follow the duo’s signature stop-motion and instead follows standard 2D animation. Nevertheless, this classic tale inspired by the Jack Rollins tune never fails to warm all of our hearts during the holiday season.

1. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
This Rankin/Bass classic may very well be the best. It’s always the first to air on television every year, signaling the start of the Christmas season. We all know the song. We all know the story. What we take away from Rudolph is the message that it doesn’t matter what you look like; it’s what’s on the inside that always counts. There has been some recent controversy surrounding the special, with audiences seeming the bullying scenes “too inappropriate” for young viewers. In reality, the scenes are tame, but it is important that children do see this special as the end message is clear that bullying is ultimately not okay and that one should always love thy neighbor regardless of their flaws.

Be sure to check out all of these classic Christmas specials this holiday season!

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Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy



Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.

The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.

I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.

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Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?



Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.

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The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!  



Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.

So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.

The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.

Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.

First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.

Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.

Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.

Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.

To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!

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